BYU women’s tennis signs three recruits for 2016-17

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BYU tennis squad celebrates a match victory. 3 top recruits will add to the success of BYU women’s tennis. (Ari Davis)

BYU women’s tennis coach Lauren Jones-Spencer announced the signing of a junior college transfer and two high school seniors.

“I’m very excited about our 2016-17 class,” Jones-Spencer said in a press release. “All three girls will make a great impact immediately for our program and I am really looking forward to working with these three players and helping them to develop their game.”

Junior college transfer Natella Nabieva will join the Cougars next semester while high school seniors Sammi Smith and Katie Cusic will join the team in fall 2016. 

Nabieva is native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. As a freshman at State College of Florida, Nabieva was named the FCSAA Player of the Year in the state and region after winning the 2015 FCSAA No. 1 Singles Championship. She was ranked No. 6 in singles by the ITA for Women’s NJCAA. Nabeva and doubles partner Amiena Houston finished the 2015 season ranked 14th nationally.  

“Natella will be a strong asset in our lineup, both for singles and doubles,” Jones-Spencer said. “I was impressed with her work ethic and love for the game. She served as team captain at State College of Florida and I’m sure she will bring those leadership skills with her to Provo.”

Smith is a high school senior from Henderson, Nevada. She is currently ranked No. 5 in the Intermountain Girls 18 rankings and will join the team in Fall of 2016-17. She was an individual Nevada High School State Champion in 2014 and achieved a No. 2 ranking in the Intermountain Girls 16 rankings.  

Cusick grew up in Provo but moved to Florida to attend Saddlebrook Tennis Academy. Kusic won the Utah 4A High School Girls Tennis No. 1 Singles State Championship and was recognized as the No. 1 Utah Valley High School Female Athlete in 2013. She is a four-star recruit and is ranked in the top 30 junior players in Florida. 

Jones-Spencer said she is excited about all three of these recruits and feels that they will make an immediate impact on the program.